A man runs over a bridge.

Orlando Ortiz, brother of Javier Ortiz, crosses a bridge on the final lap of the 2023 SSGT Javier Ortiz Memorial 5K Race and Walk. (EMC file photo)

Annual 5K to honor Rochester’s fallen soldiers, aid families

Runners and walkers are invited to lace up their sneakers to honor Rochester’s fallen soldiers and to help grieving military families.

The 2024 SSGT Javier Ortiz Memorial 5K Race and Walk is June 22 at Seneca Park, 2222 St. Paul St., Rochester.

The 5K race/walk begins at 9 a.m., while the children’s fun run gets underway at 10:15 a.m.

Participants can register in advance at https://runsignup.com/…/SSGTJavierOrtizMemorial5KRaceWalk for $20, or on the day of the event starting at 8 a.m. at the Longhouse shelter at Seneca Park. The children’s fun run is free, and no prior registration is required.

Awards will be given to the top male and female finishers in each age group.

SSGT Javier Ortiz of Rochester was a U.S. Marine staff sergeant and platoon leader who was killed Nov. 16, 2010, by an IED roadside bomb while deployed in Afghanistan. He was 26 years old. Originally a fundraiser for the Rochester Puerto Rican Festival, the event was renamed in 2011 to honor Ortiz and now serves to honor all of Rochester’s fallen military servicemen and servicewomen.

All proceeds from the event will go to TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), an organization that provides care and resources to the families of fallen military service personnel.

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